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post #1 of 14 Old 09-04-2015, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
Need some gear wisdom

Hello to all!
I am a new member here and am about a month or two away from purchasing my first v-strom. I am also a new rider in general so I have been going back and forth on what kind of gear I actually need. I am thinking about getting a standard jacket with some decent protection as well as a windproof liner and then getting some rain gear for the occasional wet commute (I will be primarily commuting). I know a lot of you guys have been riding for a long time so I figured you might be able to point me in the right direction as far as proper apparel is concerned so any help would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-04-2015, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 216
Motoport mesh kevlar and arerostich roadcrafters are excellent products. If you watch ebay, over the winter, you can get great deals on both. The roadcrafter is my favorite piece of commuting kit. waterproof and it's good from 25 degrees to 90 degrees and waterproof to boot.

Current: '12 Dl650, '06 ST1300, '89 Transalp, '84 XL350R, '07 TRX350TM,
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-04-2015, 09:33 AM
Join Date: May 2015
Location: 40 miles from the Dragon
Posts: 147
Boots - decent ones of reasonably low profile, protect ankles, real boots that will take abrasion. Overpants with great abrasion resistance - legs can really get torn up easy in a spill. Gloves, knuckle protection is nice, but heavy leather ropers are probably fine. I have a couple of pairs. Eye protection is a must. Good ear plugs. If the gear isn't bright, a bright see-me vest.

We also carry a trauma kit with us most places.

50 miles from DGMR
2004 DL1000
2009 Versys 650
2014 Moto Guzzi California 1400
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-04-2015, 10:02 AM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Central OHIO "Go Buckeyes"
Posts: 16,378
Look into the Firstgear HT overpants, they are waterproof and just hard to beat for the quality and price. Heck depending on your waist and inseam, I can make you one heck of a deal on a barely used pair. For sure get proper riding boots, there really is no better alternative. Do not go hog crazy spending money on gear, pretty quality stuff out there anymore without breaking the bank.

BRIAN "GO Buckeyes, GO Wildcats"!

2015 DL650 XT "Hector"

1997 Honda Valkyrie 1500 custom “Dolores”

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post #5 of 14 Old 09-04-2015, 10:02 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: CT
Posts: 603
You definitely want protective gear. Jacket and pants with CE approved armor, solid boots, sturdy gloves and a comfortable helmet. I use frogg toggs rain gear, waterproof and breathable. regarding specifics on the gear is otherwise tough as we do not know what location/climate you are in.

Good luck, ride safe.

PS- if you have cycle gear near you, go in and check the clearance rack. I stop in there on occasion just for that reason.

There are 10 types of people, those who know binary and those who don't.

What I ride now:
2013 Honda GoldWing (The Lady)
2014 V-strom 650 (The Mistress)
Previously: 07 Ultra Classic, 95 Softail, 80 gs450l
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-04-2015, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
Thanks for the replies! I was just going to go with a standard pair of work boots but I'll definitely be investing in a decent pair of riding boots. I live and work in Western NC with a mild southern climate in the mountains. Do any of you guys layer underneath your jackets/pants in the winter or do you just use a proper cold weather gear?
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-04-2015, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, the state
Posts: 7,437
Trenton, there is no inflection point in the price vs. protection of riding gear. Pay little, get stuff that might not protect in a crash and also not so comfortable. Pay more, get better protection and comfort.

You want two kinds of protection--crash protection and weather protection.

Crash protection--dress for the slide, not for the ride. You want fabric with high abrasion resistance or top quality leather. Cordura nylon or kevlar are very good, and there are some other top line fabrics out. Never get polyester--it melts when you slide on the pavement. You want CE-rated armor in the shoulders and elbows as well as a CE rated spine protector. You might have to pay to upgrade the spine protector. CE Level 1 is good and Level 2 is better for the spine. For the pants you want knee & hip armor. Both garments can come with ventilation zippers. You can get pretty good water resistant coatings on the fabrics. You want riding gloves with knuckle armor and reinforced palms for that slide. You want riding boots for both water resistance and some impact & slide protection. Be sure the boot can not slide off your foot with all the fasteners done up.

Weather protection--Good zippers, water resistant fabric, vent zippers, wind tight neck & wrist seals. Put an electric vest on your Christmas list. Get warm insulated, water resistant, armored winter riding gloves. Wear a balaclava under your helmet in cold weather--if the brain is warm it won't take warm blood from the fingers and toes. Get a coat & pants sized to allow warm layers underneath. Gray pants aren't as hot in the summer sun.

Your helmet--It needs good summer ventilation. It needs a good non-fog face shield for cold weather. One of the dual-pane types like Pinlock work well. Your helmet MUST fit right, both the size and the shape.
Motorcycle Helmet Shapes - webBikeWorld
SHARP Helmets - Fitting Guide

WHAT COLOR? I prefer conspicuity. I really want drivers to notice me. I have a safety-yellow coat and a white helmet. (I think the white helmet is easier to spot that a safety-yellow helmet.) I don't want a hard-to-notice gray or black coat & helmet. Your choice.

You really need to buy your helmet locally from a store with a very large stock. You need to try on several to find the size and internal shape that are just right for you. Trying something on in a local store then undercutting them and buying mail order is poor practice. I buy other gear by mail order. The vendors that help pay the bills for this forum are good sources. I like Revzilla. Their advice by phone or email has worked well for me including when I put a limit on the price I'll pay, and their selection is very good. Other vendors are good as well.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
44 B.C.

Last edited by PTRider; 09-04-2015 at 02:25 PM.
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-04-2015, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
Thanks for the advice, PT.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-04-2015, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 376
"It needs a good non-fog face shield"

Aint no such thing they'll all blind you at some stage. I've found the stick on variety work better for me than the pinlock ones, something to do with the thickness of the added layer. The stick on ones are very thin & seem to warm up & work better sooner.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-04-2015, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 216
Un-layered, I can easily ride into the high 40's. Layered gets me into the high 30's and heated jacket liner and gloves allow me to ride into the 20's. I prefer the heated liner to lots of layers as I don't feel as constricted.

Current: '12 Dl650, '06 ST1300, '89 Transalp, '84 XL350R, '07 TRX350TM,
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